Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-ender caused chronic lower back pain





Result type

Not present

back, lumbar, neurological, radiculopathy, sprain, strain
On April 18, 2015, plaintiff Michelle Brandstetter, 29, a marketing manager, slowed down for a speed bump when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Bryan Williams. Brandstetter claimed to her lower back. Brandstetter sued Williams, alleging that Williams was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Williams admitted liability., Brandstetter claimed she sustained a lumbar sprain/strain at the L5-S1 level with probable L5 radiculopathy. She presented to a Kaiser facility the day after the accident and was diagnosed with a lower back sprain. She then underwent physical therapy at the Kaiser facility on and off for approximately three years, and had a pain management consultation. In December 2017, an MRI of Brandstetter’s lower back was taken and it was revealed to be normal. No EMG/NCV test was performed. However, Brandstetter claimed she still has chronic lower back pain. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Brandstetter would need future epidural injections. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Brandstetter $12,000 to $15,000 in future medical costs for treatment with three epidural injections to the lumbar spine at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000 each. Brandstetter also sought recovery of past medical costs, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert opined that the impact’s delta-v was between 5.3 mph and 6.7 mph. Based on the defense expert’s opinions, defense counsel disputed the severity of Brandstetter’s alleged , arguing that the accident involved a low-speed impact. Counsel also argued that Brandstetter’s should have resolved within six to seven weeks and that there was no evidence of radiculopathy because the MRI was normal.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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